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First-Time Attendees

Thank you for choosing to attend the Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver, Colorado. We are so pleased you will be joining us!

What Can I Expect During My First JSM Experience?

  • You will have access to new and innovative sessions, social events, and career opportunities.
  • You will receive information about the latest statistical software in the EXPO, where you can also win prizes.
  • You will have the opportunity to meet others in your field and learn about other fields.
  • Most of all, you will have the opportunity to have fun while building relationships and networking with other statisticians from around the world.

Interested in a general overview of the JSM program? Download the JSM 2019 schedule-at-a-glance.

Complete program information can be found in the online program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does JSM stand for?
JSM is the “Joint Statistical Meetings,” the largest gathering of statisticians held in North America. View the full list of associations that jointly sponsor this meeting.
I’m here! What do I do first?
Once you are settled into your hotel, stop by Registration and JSM Help Desk in the convention center. You can pick up your welcome packet, which includes a hard copy of the program guide, the awards booklet, and a badge holder (or badge if you left yours at home). You also get a nice bag to carry these things around in. First-time attendees and docents can request a ribbon to attach to their badge that specifies these distinctions. If you are a chapter or section officer, pick up a ribbon for that, too! The JSM badge will enable you to enter the conference center, mixers, and EXPO.
What is the difference between special sessions, invited sessions or panels, topic-contributed sessions or panels, and contributed sessions?
Special sessions are introductory overview lectures or late-breaking sessions presented concurrently with other sessions. More than likely, these will be given by renowned statisticians.

Invited sessions, including plenary sessions and named lectures, are pre-organized sessions with speakers who have been invited or are expected to give talks based on their position in the organization (e.g., the President’s Invited Address). Plenary sessions are given at a time during which they do not compete with other sessions. Awards are given at some of these events, as well.

Topic-contributed sessions are planned about eight months in advance of JSM. These are typically based on a single topic and organized by one or two people. If you submitted an abstract to the JSM planning committee, you will most likely be in a contributed session. These are papers that have been grouped together based on a theme.

TIP: The type of session does not necessarily reflect its quality. In the past, promising talks have fallen short due to an apparent lack of preparation, while some contributed session presentations were excellent, as it was obvious they were rehearsed. Go to sessions you think will be interesting; do not limit yourself to only “renowned” speakers.
What are roundtable discussions?
These are small group talks that occur in conjunction with breakfast and lunch, giving you the opportunity to network while discussing a topic of interest. Roundtables are ticketed events in which space is limited, so it is best to register for them prior to JSM.
What is the Professional Development (PD) Program?
PD is the process of improving and broadening the knowledge, skill, and personal qualities needed to be successful in the practice of statistics. To meet your professional development needs, the ASA offers Continuing Education and Professional Skills Development courses and workshops at JSM. These offerings are ticketed events in which space is limited, so it is best to register for them prior to JSM.
What are the EXPO, ASA Store, and Cyber Center?
Whatever you do, do not miss walking through the EXPO, where many of the JSM sponsors have booths. While you can pick up novelties, there are also many academic, employer (i.e., recruiter), and publisher booths. The EXPO is also where you will find Spotlight Denver, allowing you to experience a little bit of the city, grab a coffee, or even have your picture taken with fun props.

The ASA Store is usually in the EXPO. ASA merchandise (e.g., shirts, jackets, coffee mugs) can be purchased there. Also, shirts from previous JSMs can be purchased there at a discount.

In the years before portable devices with email and internet access became ubiquitous, JSM began offering the Cyber Center. There usually is not a long wait to access the internet or send a quick email at these computer kiosks. If your cell phone battery is low and you need to make a reservation, head there!
What is the Career Service?
This is a full-service recruiting facility, usually near the EXPO, in which employers look for and meet with job seekers. There is an additional fee to register for the Career Service.
How can I begin networking?
Be adventurous! Go to sessions on topics you have heard only a little about. Don’t be afraid to reach out to speakers or attendees if you have questions. Many lunches are planned after the 10:30 a.m. session (i.e., not much planning a priori), so if you are talking to someone, ask if they have plans—you never know what connections you will make and how they will serve you in the long run!
Who are these docents, and what can they do for me?
Docents are JSM attendees identified with a special ribbon on their badge or an orange button who will be at the First-Time Attendee Orientation and Reception and also answer your questions related to JSM throughout the conference.

JSM Lexicon


  • Late-Breaking – Must cover one or more technical, scientific, or policy-related topics that have arisen in the year prior to JSM
  • IOL (Introductory Overview Lecture) – Lectures that provide relatively brief, high-quality introductions to important and timely statistical topics selected because of their potential to enrich the future directions of statistical theory and practice through broader dissemination.
  • ICW (In Conjunction With) – Any event (e.g., meeting, reception, mixer) for a non-ASA group.
  • Contributed – Made up of individually submitted abstracts placed into sessions by the JSM program committee. Each speaker receives 15 minutes.
  • Invited – Approved for the program through a highly competitive system and organized in advance by the program committee. Sessions may consist of anywhere from two to six speakers and the speaking time per person can vary.
  • Topic-Contributed – Approved for the program through a less rigorous system and organized in advance by the program committee. Each speaker receives 20 minutes.
  • Poster – Provides the ability to display extensive graphical or tabular materials. Poster presenters are provided with an 8’ (width) by 4’ (height) display board and push pins.
  • Speed – Consists of 20 oral presentations of approximately four minutes, with a five-minute break after the first set of 10 talks. These presentations are followed by an e-poster session lasting 45 minutes later in the program.
  • Paper vs. Panel – A paper session consists of a series of speakers after which there is floor discussion. A panel session is a more fluid conversation in which three to five panelists provide commentary on a topic.
  • Student Paper Award – Usually organized as a topic-contributed session. Most sections offering student paper awards schedule them in one session, though some schedule them in various sessions based on topic. Deadlines are typically early- to mid-December.

What Others Are Saying

Mentoring Program

The JSM Mentoring Program matches experienced ASA members (mentors) with students and early-career ASA members.

Mentors: Please consider serving in this important role. Your participation will entail sending an email to your assigned mentee about a week before JSM to decide on a time and place to meet at least once during JSM.

Many of us were fortunate to have a colleague show interest in us and help us open doors in our career. Please help strengthen our community by doing the same for someone this year at JSM.

Sign Up to Be a Mentor

Mentees: Are you interested in applying to participate in this program? To help you decide, here is what your participation will entail: connecting with your mentor prior to JSM to decide on a time and place to meet during JSM.

This mentoring program is one way the ASA is promoting the practice and profession of statistics. Getting mentoring advice from a more experienced member of the ASA community can help open doors in your career and help you, in turn, promote the practice and profession of statistics.

Sign Up to Be a Mentee

Docent Program

JSM docents (derived from the Latin verb docēre, which means to instruct, teach, or point out) are members who understand how JSM “works” and are willing to share their knowledge with first-timers. JSM docents—identified by a purple name badge ribbon and an orange button—answer questions about how to choose which JSM events to attend, how to network, what to look for in the EXPO, and how to have fun at JSM. Docents are invited to serve as table hosts at the First-Time Attendee Orientation and Reception on Sunday, July 28, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and to volunteer to be at the registration help desk to answer questions.

Sign Up to Be a Docent

Meeting Within a Meeting (MWM) Statistics Workshop for Middle- and High-School Mathematics and Science Teachers – Denver, Colorado – July 30–31

MWM will take place in conjunction with the Joint Statistical Meetings. The workshop is meant to strengthen K–12 mathematics and science teachers’ understanding of statistics and provide them with hands-on activities aligned with college and career preparation standards that they can use in their own classrooms. The cost of the workshop is $50. Scholarships are available. Get more information and register.

Beyond AP Statistics (BAPS) Workshop – Denver, Colorado – July 31

The ASA/NCTM Joint Committee is pleased to sponsor a Beyond AP Statistics workshop at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings. Organized by Roxy Peck, the BAPS workshop is offered for experienced AP Statistics teachers and consists of enrichment material just beyond the basic AP syllabus. The cost of the workshop is $50. Scholarships are available. Get more information and register.

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Key Dates

  • May 1, 2019 11:00 AM
    Registration and housing open
  • May 31, 2019
    Early registration deadline
  • June 1, 2019 12:01 AM - July 1, 2019 11:59 PM
    Regular registration (increased fees apply)
  • July 2, 2019 12:01 AM - August 1, 2019 11:59 PM
    Late Registration (increased fees apply)
  • July 3, 2019
    Housing deadline
  • July 27, 2019 - August 1, 2019
    2019 Joint Statistical Meetings
  • Program Participants
  • July 18, 2018 - September 6, 2018 11:59 PM
    Online submission of invited session proposals open
  • September 30, 2018
    Online submission of Continuing Education course proposals deadline
  • October 10, 2018 - October 29, 2018 11:59 PM
    Online submission of invited session abstracts open
  • November 12, 2018 12:01 AM - December 12, 2018 11:59 PM
    Online submission of topic-contributed session proposals
  • December 3, 2018 12:01 AM - February 4, 2019 11:59 PM
    Online submission of abstracts (all except invited papers and panels)
  • January 15, 2019
    Online submission of Computer Technology Workshop (CTW) proposals deadline
  • January 23, 2019 - April 3, 2019 11:59 PM
    Online submission of JSM Meeting & Event Requests
  • January 25, 2019
    Deadline to request registration extension for government agencies
  • April 1, 2019 - April 18, 2019 11:59 PM
    Online abstract editing open
  • May 17, 2019
    Draft manuscript deadline